Sunday, December 4, 2011

Holiday Season

Hoping all of you are having a wonderful, peaceful, holiday season.  I'm posting a picture of an unfinished piece of stained glass I have been working on. It's new for me but I love the medium. This particular piece will be done soon, just need to touch up a few areas and then I will post the finished product. Already I have my next project in mind but as all of my artistic endeavors go right now, they will have to wait until the Christmas holiday. Just a quick thank you to my customers who have purchased paintings from me this Christmas season, it makes me feel special to know that one of my paintings will grace the wall of someone you care about.

Quote of the day:  "Even if your hands are shaking, And your faith is broken, Even as the eyes are closing, Do it with a heart wide open, Say what you need to say." ~John Mayer

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Whew...time for an update !

As most of my artsy friends know, when school is in session for the year I get very little art done. Most of my artistic energy is poured into my classroom but I do have two wonderful tidbits to share. The first is the stained glass class finally got off the ground after some delays. What a treat it is! Just as I expected, I love it. The teacher is marvelous and very patient (always a plus!).  Dealing with glass shards and lead is a challenge that I'm sure must get easier as time goes on.  Our first project is simple but I will share the outcome in a couple weeks. With only 5 students it's a great opportunity to immerse in creativity for a couple hours every week.
The second bit of fun to share is Via Arte. This is the annual street painting event that I take part in yearly. It was just as much fun as I knew it would be. I chose a bright and colorful piece this year and honestly, it is so much better to go with bright colors on the pavement than some of my more muted vintage looking pieces. I've added a few photos of the process and the finished product to this post. It is 7x7. I work alone and it took me 12 hours, 7am to 7pm

Finished product  :)

Quote of the Day: "To be trusted is a greater compliment than being loved" ~ George MacDonald

Saturday, August 20, 2011

School Begins...

And school begins on Monday so my summer has truly come to an end as well as the extra time in my studio. My Summer of Color series will continue as I just did not get enough time to paint all of the very colorful images that are still waiting to make their way to the canvas. I suppose they will wait as I grab time here and there in between teaching. On the upside, I always enjoy the school year as well as the opportunity to have fun creating art projects with my students despite the voluminous California State Education Standards that need to be learned and loved.
And during my "free time", I'm taking a stained glass class this September from an artist whose work I adore so if I could just figure out how to get more than 24 hours out of one day. I will post work from that class as well as my ups and downs in learning how to do stained glass :)

Quote of the Day:  I must govern the clock, not be governed by it.  ~  Golda Meir

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Travel, paint, travel, paint....

This has been a month of traveling, concerts, and painting in between other events. So I just thought I would post a few pictures of my work studio and a three pieces I'm working on right now. The two cupcakes are a couple of commissioned pieces , very fun and lighthearted. They still need a lot more work but that's where I'm at right now. The larger piece on my easel is a more colorful but Rufus Porter-esque painting.

Quote of the Day : “Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”   Mark Twain

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

VW Van and Blue Dog

I just finished this painting a couple nights ago. A VW Van on a warm summer day, the potential for adventure is just an afternoon drive away...

Quote of the Day:  "Adventure is worthwhile in itself."  ~ Amelia Earhart

Friday, July 8, 2011

Thoughts on Plein Air Paintings...

What is it about plein air paintings that are so enchanting? Why are they so intriguing? I spend a fair amount of the early mornings going to other art blogs. It's my routine to keep up on some of my favorite artists and more often than not, I find myself completely absorbed with the whatever plein air piece has just been posted. Maybe it's just a miracle to me that a moment in time was captured by the hand of the artist. That moment was never before and will never be again. Even more intriguing is to feel the essence of the artist in that piece. I guess that is why two artists sitting on the same bluff, overlooking the same landscape will paint a very different interpretation of the valley below.

Quote of the Day:  I hope with all my heart there will be painting in heaven.   ~ Jean-Baptiste Corot

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

New Painting and Notes on a Book...

As the Summer of Color marches on, I'm adding this little number to the collection. It's an 8x8 on canvas and will be in my ETSY shop soon:
Using these brighter colors, veering away from my normally toned down palettes has been, hmm, how can I describe it...a little like practicing penmanship with my left hand.  I'm loving it because it feels like I'm exercising a different part of my brain. 
I just bought the new Rufus Porter book by Linda Carter Lefko and Jane E. Radcliffe. If you like the art of Rufus Porter, I recommend it in a big way. It's full of history, art technique, and great images. Through the years I've studied Rufus Porter, often copied his work trying to extract that "something" that I love about his work. I've always felt a kinship for his limited palettes and historical landscapes.
As a matter of fact, for the last two years, I have been a participating artist at a street art festival called Via Arte. Every participating artist created magnificent pieces of art with chalk pastels on the pavement. Each year I have chosen a Rufus Porter piece to re-create on the pavement and the response I get is predictable and touching. Here in the Western half of the U.S., we have less exposure to the art that typically is found on the East Coast. Most working artists here in the west are doing lovely modern work. I find myself explaining the origins of artist like Rufus Porter, where to find true American Folk Art, and why I passionately love it.

Quote of the Day: "All the art of living lies in a fine mingling of letting go and holding on." ~ Henry Ellis 

Saturday, June 25, 2011

The Beach Umbrella

Finished this sweet 8x8 piece this morning. It makes me smile :)    This afternoon when temperatures hit 100 plus I'll be back in the studio but for now, my garden is calling me, the roses needed to be thinned,  the bougainvillea is taking over and my fruit trees are heavy and begging for relief.  My newest paintings are now for sale on my website at

Quote of the Day: "The really nice breezes blow through my body and into my soul."  ~ Astrid Alauda

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Painted Ladies with Blue Dog

So after I inadvertently destroyed a painting while working into the middle of the night, I revamped my idea and finished a new painting today. In a way it was to my advantage to destroy the original as I tried to put a few finishing touches on in the middle of the night :(   The second painting here had the kinks worked out and everything flowed much smoother. Many artists do much more than block out their entire painting before they work, they really, in essence, do two paintings. The first rough draft painting is to work out the placement, colors, unexpected obstacles...  Then they are able to proceed with absolute confidence in the final piece. I may take a lesson from all of this as there is something to be learned from all mistakes. 
The blue dog in this piece was inspired by my own dog, Scout. No she is not blue but she can sit in the same position forever as she waits patiently for me to share my lunch or take her for a walk or simply give her a belly scratch.
This painting (20 x 20 canvas) and the others in the "Summer of Color" series will be available in original and print form within a few days at my shop

Quote of the Day : "When one door is closed, don't you know, another is open." - Bob Marley

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Painting in Ruin

I know better. I teach this. I preach it. STOP painting when you are tired, even if you are just a few strokes from completion. 11:30 pm...almost done...3:00 am ... complete ruin.  That last brush stroke turned into a touch here and there and then "how can I fix this?" and by 3:00am it was beyond repair. After realizing that this wonderful painting was beyond hope, I covered it with a towel, set it back on the easel overnight while I mourned the loss. I couldn't bring myself to pull the towel off the painting until I had a very strong cup of coffee this morning. I guess there was that small hope that maybe it wasn't as bad as I remembered, maybe I could salvage it or even better, maybe it would end up being a "happy mistake" and be a creative work of genius. Nope. Awful. So I will let it go. The best way to cure the grief of a mistake is to start a new painting immediately.

Quote of the Day: "One cannot too soon forget his errors and misdemeanors; for to dwell upon them is to add to the offense."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Hot Air Balloons

I had a great time with this painting. 16 x 20 canvas.  LOVE hot air ballons and painting them is one of my favorite! There was a time when I never missed the annual balloon races in Reno, Nevada. Spectacular. In keeping with my mantra this summer, I'm using as much color as I can, as undiluted as possible.  Trying to not overwork paintings...just lay down the color and capture the feeling as quickly as I can. This flys in the face of everything I normally do and I'm enjoying the feeling of careless abandon with my paint brush.

Quote of the Day: "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."  ~ Henry David Thoreau

Monday, June 13, 2011


I usually don't direct people away from my blog but today I need to show you the way to one of my favorite blog pages and a very cool contest that Laura Ingalls Gunn is hosting. It's for a shop called Shabby Apple, LOVE THIS SHOP Smiley . You have a chance to win a dress from Shabby Apple. Here is a link to the blog I'm talking about 

Quote of the Day: "Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined." ~ Henry David Thoreau

Saturday, June 11, 2011

"Burano at Sunset"

Finished the second in the Summer of Color series. This one is titled "Burano at Sunset". Both this painting and the one I posted yesterday are 16 x 20 canvas. After an entire day of painting, it's time to get some fresh air before the sun sets on this perfect day. Peace and Love ♥

Quote of the Day:  "It's something unpredictable, but in the end is right. I hope you had the time of your life" ~ Green Day

Friday, June 10, 2011

1st Summer of Color Painting...

I finished my 1st Summer of Color painting and I have posted it here. I don't recall if I completely disclosed my present state of mind but I believe I mentioned that I had been having very vivid dreams, very colorful. This has propelled me to realize that my life needs more color, my paintings need more color, rules need to be broken. So in addition to going against all of (well, almost all) of my art standards, I am choosing to unleash the fun at every opportunity. Carpe Diem! I took a spin around town at 7am on my pink cruiser bike. I danced to the the Blue Danube waltz in my living room. I opened a wonderful bottle of pinot noir midday. The music played, the wine flowed and is was a perfect day ♥

Quote of the Day: "May good fortune be with you, may your guiding light be strong" - Rod Stewart

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Artistic ADD ....

My artsy friends tell me I have artistic ADD. Okay, they may be right but I prefer to call it artistically adventurous. I like to try a lot of things and those experiments sometimes result in a very unique piece of work and sometimes they get relegated to the back of the studio, way back.

I've been having very lucid dreams lately. In these dreams I can see so much color it is almost overwhelming, so clear and vibrant. Will these colors come out in my work? Of course. If all of my contemporary folk art pieces look like Burano, Venice, Italy.... well I could be very happy with that. In salute to the colors of Burano, today it is a glass of wine (or two) and let the paint flow :) Cheers.

Quote of the Day: "Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow mindedness" - M. Twain

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Projects, Paintings, Illustrations...

Knee deep in many projects, paintings, illustrating a book for a friend, .... well, you know, all things that are wonderful and fulfilling and so ever-loving time consuming. Will post photos when I get at least one of these projects finished :) I couldn't ask for more except maybe to spend a few quiet hours in this bed with my Kindle.

Quote of the Day : "I am so busy doing nothing... that the idea of doing anything - which as you know, always leads to something - cuts into the nothing and then forces me to have to drop everything." ~ Jerry Seinfeld

Saturday, June 4, 2011

And So Summer Arrives.... last. School is out for summer and now I get to play artist again for a while :) One quick note as the school year ends, when the world seems crazy, so much bad news... I feel renewed in the classroom as I see an incredible amount of hope for the future. There are just so many great, great kids.

I stood at the door of my studio today looking at an embarrassing amount of dust covering everything. So first thing tomorrow it all comes out for a good cleaning. I can't work in clutter and dirt. I, like a lot of artists, need the mood and atmosphere to be just right. I need the music on, the view from my window, a good cup of coffee and no interruptions.
Aldo Luongo,one of my favorite artists said, "While painting, I’m confined, lonely, enmeshed in emotions and self-doubt". I guess that sums it up for me as well.

I'm including one of my favorite Luongo paintings:

Quote of the Day: "Art enables us to find ourselves and lose ourselves at the same time."
~ Thomas Merton

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Brief Hiatus...

Life can be tricky and ironic a times. Three weeks ago I was featured as the artist of the week at EBSQ, an honor I sincerely appreciated :) In my interview I talked about how important it is to blog at least once a week to keep readers up to date and interested. Two and a half weeks ago I was asked to take over a 4th grade class for a teacher who could not finish the year. I had not expected to work in a classroom this year and working out of my art studio was keeping me busy but I like a challenge and accepted the position. So much for blogging once a week as I am especially busy but to my faithful readers and customers I will return to posting during the summer months. I will miss you during this brief hiatus but I also love teaching and this is where I am needed right now so for now my friends, au revoir, ciao, hasta la vista, prosh-chavay, sizobonana, ... and good-bye for a little while.

Quote for the Day: "Happy trails to you, until we meet again." ~ Dale Evans Rogers